Media Advisories

“Command Responsibility” by President Kiir, Former VP Machar for Atrocities in South Sudan

Date: 
Jan 25, 2016

Enough Project calls for targeted sanctions on government and opposition leaders for “deliberate continuation of the war”

January 25, 2016 – Government and opposition leaders, including President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, have “command and control” responsibility for the majority of mass atrocities and human rights violations in South Sudan’s war, according to a UN Security Council Panel of Experts (PoE) report, published today.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said, “It is critical that the Experts Group established command and control responsibility for mass atrocities all the way to the very top of both the government and rebel militaries.  The onus is on the UN Security Council to act on that evidence by holding accountable those leaders on both sides responsible for mass atrocities. Without accountability, the current peace process is doomed to implode under the weight of impunity for both human rights abuses and mass corruption.”

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "Key individuals in this Panel of Expert report have been named as being behind a deliberate continuation of the war in South Sudan. It has long been our position that a few elite politicians in South Sudan have seized control of government for their personal economic gain. When competing factions among the elite wanted a bigger share of the spoils of state, they pushed the country into war. Some of these top-level politicians oppose the end of the war because they are profiting from it. The Enough Project welcomes the identification of these individuals. This report opens the path forjustice, and an end to impunity. Now that these individuals have been exposed, the U.S, other governments, and organizations such as the UN, must use the tools at their disposal to hold these individuals accountable."

J.R. Mailey, Senior Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: "The report highlights several cases in which asset freezes and travel bans imposed on high-level South Sudanese officials directly responsible for abuses have been blatantly violated. Moving forward, the international community -- and especially countries in the region -- must take steps to ensure that the current UN sanctions are adequately enforced."

Brad Brooks-Rubin, Director of Policy at the Enough Project, added: “The peace deal faces existential threats from the war profiteers among the elite. We have seen the deliberate enactment of policies, such as the creation of new states that violate the stipulations of the deal. The ceasefire has been violated so many times by both sides in the conflict. Unless conflict no longer holds any economic value for the war profiteers among the elite, South Sudan will not enjoy peace. That’s why it is important to hold those responsible for the war to account for their actions.”

More analysis by the Enough Project:

  • Real accountability means enacting specific sanctions on these individuals, with the ultimate aim of limiting their ability to move assets and ill-gotten wealth in the global financial system.  In the U.S, several tools exist, ranging from legislation to presidential orders that would empower government to seize assets, limit the potential of these individuals to seek support from regional governments, and disrupt the economic activities of these individuals so that they don’t profit from war.
     
  • For the UN Security Council, the time is ripe to enforce targeted sanctions on these individuals. The report depicts a gloomy forecast for South Sudan, pointing out that conflict may endure. To stop war in South Sudan, now is the time for the Security Council to enforce an arms embargo and sanctions on individuals and other entities involved in arms trading with South Sudan.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org 

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Enough Project Heads into 2016 at New Venture Fund

Date: 
Dec 17, 2015

 

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention group, will switch fiscal sponsors on January 1 from CAP, where it was launched and incubated, to NVF.

Washington DC – The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, announced its transition to a new non-profit fiscal sponsor, moving from the Center of American Progress (CAP) to New Venture Fund (NVF). The Enough Project headquarters in Washington DC, with analysts and researchers based in the Horn, Central and East Africa.

Launched in 2007 by its Founding Director John Prendergast and Gayle Smith, the newly appointed Administrator of USAID, Enough has been at the forefront of research, advocacy, and policy seeking to build leverage for peace and justice, and to prevent and end atrocities and genocide in Africa.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “For eight years, CAP supported our growth and development, allowing us to experiment with an evolving theory of change to impact policy in support of peace and human rights in Africa.  I’m deeply grateful for the partnership we’ve had over this period and look forward to the new relationship with NVF.”

Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, said: “We are extremely proud of the work the Enough Project has done over the years. CAP recognized the importance of John and Gayle’s vision and worked hard to seed it, help it grow and flourish into the organization of critical impact for international peace and social justice that it is today. As the Enough Project takes the next steps in their evolution, we look forward to witnessing their continued success.”

With an increasing focus on countering armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of natural resources, in 2015, the Enough Project launched The Sentry. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an investigative initiative that seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts.

Lee Bodner, President of New Venture Fund, said: “The Enough Project has played a leading role in bringing attention and action to atrocities in Africa and has forged powerful partnerships to hold accountable those who perpetrate crimes against civilians. The New Venture Fund is honored to host the Enough Project, and we are committed to helping it grow and evolve to bring lasting change to countries suffering from conflict.”

Since its start, the Enough Project has produced numerous original reports based on expert analysis and field-based research. Enough’s reports, campaigns, analysis, op-eds, and policy recommendations have been featured in major media including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, CBS’ 60 Minutes, CNN, and BBC.

Anna Prow, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Enough Project, said: "Our years with CAP have been a time of incubation, strengthening, and growth, and the Enough Project moves into 2016 with momentum and focus. We look forward to this next phase of innovation and continued impact on our mission to prevent mass atrocities and in support of peace and social justice."

To read recent Enough Project reports, visit: www.enoughproject.org/reports

For media inquiries to the Enough Project and The Sentry, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

For media inquiries to the Center for American Progress, please contact:
Tom Caiazza, Associate Director Media Relations, +1 202 481 7141tcaiazza@americanprogress.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

About THE SENTRY
The Sentry seeks to dismantle the networks of perpetrators, facilitators, and enablers who fund and profit from Africa’s deadliest conflicts. Our investigations follow the money from conflict zones and into global economic centers, using open source data collection, field research, and state-of-the-art network analysis technology. The Sentry provides information and analysis that engages civil society and media, supports regulatory action and prosecutions, and provides policymakers with the information they require to take effective action. Co-founded by George Clooney and John Prendergast, The Sentry is an initiative of the Enough Project, with its supporting partners C4ADS and Not On Our Watch (NOOW). Learn more at TheSentry.org

About NEW VENTURE FUND
New Venture Fund, a 501(c)(3) public charity, supports innovative and effective public interest projects. NVF was established in 2006 in response to demand from leading philanthropists for an efficient, cost-effective, and time-saving platform to launch and operate charitable projects. NVF executes a range of donor-driven public interest projects in conservation, global health, public policy, international development, education, disaster recovery, and the arts. 

About THE CENTER FOR AMERICAN PROGRESS
The Center for American Progress is a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all. We believe that Americans are bound together by a common commitment to these values and we aspire to ensure that our national policies reflect these values. We work to find progressive and pragmatic solutions to significant domestic and international problems and develop policy proposals that foster a government that is "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

Student Leads Wisconsin School District to Go “Conflict-Free” as International Movement Gathers Steam in 2015

Date: 
Dec 17, 2015

From high schools and college campuses to cities and states, the “Conflict-Free” movement continued to expand this year.

Spurred by the activism of a high school student, the latest resolution by a Wisconsin school district adds another victory in an international campaign working to ensure that laptops, cell phones, and other popular consumer products are not connected to killing, child abductions, or sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Most recently, Ellen Bresnick, a high school junior, led efforts spurring her Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District to unanimously adopt a resolution calling on electronics and other industries to take the necessary due diligence measures to ensure that the minerals in their products contribute to peace and sustainable livelihoods in the DRC.

Earlier this year, activists and policymakers celebrated the Portland City Council’s vote to enact a conflict-free policy for the city. Portland’s new policy affects cellular devices and other key communication equipment purchased by the city. 

Including the Middleton-Cross Plains Area School District, 20 school institutions have passed resolutions that call on companies to source conflict-free minerals from the DRC for their products. The public school district based in Dane County, Wisconsin, represents six elementary schools, two middle schools, one high school, and one alternative senior high school.

More details:

  • By encouraging university officials and stakeholders, both of whom are large purchasers of electronics and powerful spokespersons, to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in Congo's minerals sector, students from the Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
  • Students from 175 schools in the U.S. and internationally have participated in CFCI
  • Five U.S. cities and one U.K. city have passed conflict-free procurement resolutions
  • Two U.S. states (CA & MD) have passed conflict-free procurement resolutions
  • One State Bar Association (Minnesota) has passed a conflict-free procurement resolution

 

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

About THE CONFLICT-FREE CITIES and CONFLICT-FREE CAMPUS INITIATIVE
Initiatives of the Enough Project’s “Raise Hope for Congo” campaign, the Conflict-Free Cities and Conflict-Free Campus Initiative (CFCI) draw on the power of student leadership and activism to help support peace in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By encouraging university officials, local governments, and other stakeholders - large purchasers of electronics and powerful spokespersons - to commit to measures that pressure electronics companies to responsibly invest in the minerals sector, consumers are voicing the demand for conflict-free products from Congo. Comprehensive reform is needed in Congo for sustainable peace - now is the time is for activists to lead the conflict-free movement. Join us: www.conflictfreecampus.org

New Report Exposes South Sudan’s War Machine, Offers Steps to Target Financial Interests and Counter Potential Spoilers

Date: 
Dec 15, 2015

Tenuous Peace Deal at Risk as Youngest Nation Marks 2-Year Anniversary of Conflict Outbreak

Today, on the two-year anniversary of the start of South Sudan’s civil war, a new report by the Enough Project exposes the political and financial interests that continue to pose the most significant threat to peace. DEADLY ENTERPRISE: Dismantling South Sudan's War Economy and Countering Potential Spoilers, argues that networks of political and business elites have profited from the war must be effectively targeted and dismantled in order to save South Sudan’s imperiled peace deal.

“Deadly Enterprise,” by Enough Project policy analyst Justine Fleischner, suggests a number of policy tools and interventions to strengthen financial pressure and support accountability, and transparency efforts key to ending impunity for economic crimes.

Justine Fleischner, report author and Enough Project Policy Analyst based in East Africa, said: “The losses for South Sudan’s people have been too devastating to simply allow a return to the governing status quo. If South Sudan’s leaders fail to undertake the necessary political and economic reforms laid out in the peace agreement, it is hard to imagine how there will ever be real stability. South Sudan’s leaders owe it to their own citizens to finally deliver on the promises made at independence.”

The war, sparked in December 2013, has cost countless lives, displaced hundreds of thousands from their homes, and has been characterized by widespread human rights atrocities documented by the independent African Union Commission of Inquiry. The peace agreement provides a starting point for bringing the parties back together in Juba, but so long as hardliner interests remain intact, the country risks a return to full-scale civil war.

John Prendergast, Founding Director of the Enough Project, said: “How does anyone think the status quo of corruption and conflict will change in South Sudan without creating real consequences and breaking the cycle of impunity? The international community must deploy whatever tools it has at its disposal to ensure stolen assets are returned and economic crimes prosecuted. Regional and global asset freezes and travel bans should target those individuals that pursue their own political or economic gain at the expense of the South Sudanese people.”

Report recommendations include global asset recovery efforts, investigations by the U.S. Department of Justice-led Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, steps to ensure space for civil society to hold their own leaders to account, and tools to combat black market currency trading and potential money-laundering activity.

The in-depth report is based on extensive research and interviews conducted between July and November 2015in Juba, Bentiu, and Malakal, South Sudan; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; and Nairobi, Kenya. Interviewees included government and opposition officials, government and rebel commanders, low-level fighters on both sides, civilians displaced by the conflict, civil society leaders, academics, economists, geologists, U.N. officials, and international experts on specific sectors of the war economy.

Selected report revelations:

  • Officials with access to the hard currency brought in as oil revenue are in some cases able to leverage the difference between the official and black market exchange rates to turn huge profits on the dollar. At the time of publication, the official exchange rate was 2.9 SSP to the U.S. dollar and the black market rate was 17 to 18 SSP to the dollar, giving a 586 to 620 percent return on the dollar. 
     
  • Without a transparent system in place for managing oil revenues and a single oil account, it is difficult to track the money that comes in as oil revenue. In addition, those officials with access to the hard currency brought in as oil revenue are in some cases able to leverage the difference between the official and black market exchange rates to turn huge profits on the dollar. At the time of publication, the official exchange rate was 2.9 SSP to the U.S. dollar and the black market rate was 17 to 18 SSP to the dollar, giving a 586 to 620 percent return on the dollar.
     
  • Some sources have estimated that the government currently receives around $60 million a month in oil revenues, although the actual total oil income is unknown... Opaque financial arrangements between the oil companies and traders and the government of South Sudan further obscure the use and transfer of oil funds.

Selected report recommendations: 

  • Potential spoilers, including politically and financially exposed individuals at the highest level, should be the primary target of asset investigations and financial audits to curtail the damage they are able to inflict on the implementation of the peace agreement.
     
  • Opaque business deals and financial transactions should be scrutinized and carefully investigated. These include transactions involving well-known war profiteers with long-standing ties to the opposition and government leadership. The U.S. should also investigate deals involving firms, accounts, and individuals based in the United States. All business transactions, concessions, and bidding processes must meet the minimum requirements laid out in South Sudan’s own laws. Ensuring war profiteers do not cash in on the destruction and loss of life they helped sustain should be a primary concern of JMEC, the United States, and donors during the transitional period.
     
  • Levying and implementing sanctions that effectively target the South Sudanese actors who most threaten peace and security requires attention to sanctions enforcement at the regional level. To prevent potential South Sudanese spoilers from seeking state sponsors in the region, the United States and other international partners must maintain diplomatic pressure on regional states, including Kenya, where significant South Sudanese assets are held.

Link to full report: http://eno.ug/1OTo4NV

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Sudan Regime Engaged in Massive Theft

Date: 
Dec 2, 2015

 

Enough Forum report describes “brutal kleptocracy”: land grabs, grand corruption, military plunder

A new report published today details how the governing regime in Sudan is structured to extract the nation’s wealth in order to maintain power, benefit elites, and sustain violent and repressive campaigns against its citizenry. Published by the Enough Project in its “Forum” series, “Kleptocracy in Khartoum: Self-Enrichment by the National Islamic Front/National Congress Party,” is authored by Professor Eric Reeves of Smith College, a Senior Fellow at the Enough Project.

Eric Reeves, report author and Senior Fellow at the Enough Project, said: “For the past five years, the current regime in Khartoum has continued to engage in massive theft of Sudanese national wealth.  Such theft occurs against a backdrop of some of the world’s highest rates of malnutrition as well as a series of brutal and costly civil wars.  Agriculture is in decline as is the economy as a whole, largely because of the brutal kleptocracy that rules and plunders Sudan by force of arms from Khartoum.”

Selected highlights from “Kleptocracy in Khartoum”:

  • The primary means by which the regime in Khartoum presently enriches itself is the sale and leasing of valuable Sudanese land—both urban areas as well as large tracts of arable land—mortgaging Sudan’s future to Arab and Asian countries interested in their own long term food security and cheap, profitable real estate deals.
  • The regime’s complete control of the federal bureaucracy, the Central Bank of Sudan, and the Central Bureau of Statistics ensures that very large amounts of money can be easily siphoned off without detection and economic danger signals muffled.
  • The International Monetary Fund (IMF) currently provides no meaningful oversight of the collapsing Sudanese economy, accepting at face value untenable figures provided to the Fund by the Central Bureau of Statistics.
  • Waging war against the marginalized citizens of Sudan’s vast peripheral areas, and deploying a ruthlessly efficient set of security services, is all that keeps the regime in power.
  • The character of the wars enabled by the massive misallocation of national wealth has often been genocidal, as it continues to be in Darfur, in the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, and in Blue Nile State.  Ethnically-targeted human destruction is the norm rather than the exception in the government’s conduct of counter-insurgencies.

Presented by the Enough Project, the Enough Forum is a platform for dynamic discourse engaging critical issues, challenges, and questions among thought leaders, field researchers, and policy experts.  Opinions and statements are those of the authors and participants in the forum, and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or policy recommendations of the Enough Project.

Link to “Kleptocracy in Khartoum”: http://eno.ug/1HB4Mx9

For media inquiries and to arrange an interview with the report author, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717-0606, gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org. 

AU Inquiry Report Highlights Need for Justice, Anti-Corruption in South Sudan

Date: 
Nov 10, 2015

Washington DC -- In a statement published today, the Enough Project presents analysis and key recommendations in response to the long-delayed African Union Commission of Inquiry (AU COI) report on the crisis in South Sudan. The “Final Report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan,” points to corruption and the unequal distribution of the proceeds of natural resources as major factors sparking and fueling atrocities and armed violence in South Sudan. 

The 315-page AU COI report details events leading up to the massacre in Juba in December 2013, and deduces that the killing of Nuer people at that time were “crimes committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy.” Likewise, the report’s documentation of targeted killings based on ethnicity perpetrated by rebel forces provide important information for understanding the culpability of both sides of the conflict. While calling for accountability, the Enough Project’s lauds the AU COI report’s emphasis on reconciliation, peace, justice, and institutional reforms.

In its statement today, the Enough Project puts forward recommendations, including:

  • The looting of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth by high-level elites reflects the practices of a kleptocracy that must be dismantled.
  • The international community should invest in global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan.
  • Those with the greatest responsibility for the atrocities at the highest level must be held accountable, and prosecution should be prioritized.
  • The role of the proposed hybrid court spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement should be supported, including the prosecution of economic crimes. Steps must be taken to ensure that the court has the necessary funding and the legal and technical resources to enable it to investigate and prosecute economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption.
  • Support for civil society referenced in the commission’s report should focus on strengthening South Sudanese-led efforts to press for the full implementation of South Sudan’s own beneficial ownership and public disclosure rules.

The AU COI report is based on testimonies from key government and rebel leaders, civil society, and ordinary South Sudanese. The report’s public release was delayed for many months, and its cover page is dated October 15, 2014.

Full statement by the Enough Project below:

African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan Report
By the Enough Team
November 10, 2015

The African Union’s long-awaited report on the crisis in South Sudan strongly makes the case that sustainable peace must not only address justice for victims of atrocities but also tackle the underlying economic sources of the conflict, which Enough argues include the pursuit by individuals of their own economic interests at the expense of the South Sudanese people.

The AU report’s substantive focus on human rights abuses committed by the government and rebels, including their affiliate militias, in various locations in the country, is commendable and important for both understanding the human toll of the conflict and also for devising strategies for healing. The report’s emphasis on reconciliation, peace, justice, and institutional reforms holds the potential for a new beginning for South Sudanese leaders.

The report sheds light on events leading up to the massacre in Juba in December 2013, and the AU Commission of Inquiry deduces that the killing of Nuer people at that time were “crimes committed pursuant to or in furtherance of a State policy.”

Likewise, the report’s documentation of targeted killings based on ethnicity perpetrated by the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) in towns such as Malakal, Bor, and Bentiu provide important information for understanding the culpability of the rebels.

The focus on recruitment of children into government and rebel armies and the extensive sexual and gender-based violence committed by both sides exposes the diversity of the atrocity crimes in the conflict. In concluding that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that these crimes were committed in a wide spread or systematic manner, and that evidence points to the existence of a state or organizational policy to launch attacks against civilians based on their ethnicity or political affiliation,” the report is a powerful  reminder of the need to bring the perpetrators to account for their actions.

Of important note is the report’s identification of the underlying sources of conflict in South Sudan. The report identifies crippling capacity shortfalls in almost all of the country’s institutions and exposes how these issues helped fuel dissent, anger, resentment, and friction among communities in South Sudan. With regard to the genesis of the ongoing conflict, the report notes that significant weaknesses in the internal institutions of the ruling SPLM party were instrumental in triggering the country’s descent into civil war.

Most significantly, however, the report highlights how economic factors played a key role in contributing to the outbreak of war. Specifically, the report draws attention to pervasive weaknesses in the management, allocation, and distribution of the country’s natural resources. The report underscores that factors such as corruption and the unequal distribution of oil proceeds greatly compromised the government’s capacity to deliver services, thus fueling anger and resentment within the population.

The factors described above served as the key ingredients that fueled the war in South Sudan, and these findings shape the substance of key recommendations in the report.

In addition to calling for institutional reforms, the report’s recommendations on human rights hit the right notes and point toward ratification of all international pacts on human rights by the government, strengthening of national institutions for protection of human rights, and building a cogent disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) program to transform the security forces.

The report notes that there is support for holding the two principals in this conflict—President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Riek Machar—accountable for the atrocities. The report’s heavier emphasis, however, on truth-telling, reconciliation, traditional justice, reparations, and institutional reforms risks overshadowing and underestimating the South Sudanese public’s appetite for the criminal prosecution of the perpetrators of violence according to international standards as part of a process for achieving holistic justice in South Sudan.

In light of the fact that international law was broken and the fact that the report identifies reasonable grounds to believe that the atrocities amount to crimes against humanity, recommending that “those with the greatest responsibility for the atrocities at the highest level” be held accountable, it is our contention that this is a crucial aspect for justice and that emphasis on prosecution should be prioritized.

With regard to the economic factors of the conflict, the report underscores that the “struggle for political power and control of natural resources revenue, corruption and nepotism” were key factors behind the outbreak of conflict. Consequently, the report notes that the mismanagement of oil revenues caused frustration among different groups in the country. The report adds that the resources of the country, including oil revenues, have largely come under the purview of “top politicians and their families” at the expense of the general populace.

To address this situation, the report recommends sound measures in resource governance: the strengthening of legal frameworks and equitable distribution of natural resource revenues.

It is important to observe, however, that the recommendations are notably silent on prosecuting economic crimes, despite the direct relevance of economic factors in contributing to war.

We contend that economic crimes constitute a major reason for the outbreak of conflict in South Sudan. In this respect, we support the role of the proposed hybrid court spelled out in the August 2015 peace agreement, which includes the prosecution of economic crimes. In this light, steps must be taken to ensure that the court has the necessary funding and the legal and technical resources to enable it to investigate and prosecute economic crimes, including pillage and grand corruption.

The signed peace agreement also gives the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) a significant role in resource and financial oversight. Nevertheless, given the commission’s vast mandate, it is important that JMEC identify and prioritize specific financial accountability and transparency interventions that have the greatest potential for stabilizing the economy and ending impunity for economic crimes, such as closing all non-official oil accounts.

In addition, support for civil society referenced in the commission’s report should focus on strengthening South Sudanese-led efforts to press for the full implementation of South Sudan’s own beneficial ownership and public disclosure rules.

The looting of South Sudan’s natural resource wealth by a clique of high-level elites reflects the practices of a kleptocracy that must be dismantled. In addition to strong support for JMEC and the hybrid court, the international community should also invest in global efforts to trace, seize, freeze, and return the proceeds of corruption back to the people of South Sudan. Finally, the U.S. and other partners should maintain the threat of targeted sanctions by continuing their efforts to identify the assets of politically exposed elites who threaten the implementation of the peace agreement for their own political or economic gain.

Link to statement by the Enough Project: http://eno.ug/1PA6uzN

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT

The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

Court Urged to Review “Conflict Minerals” Case

Date: 
Oct 29, 2015

Enough Project: Court of Appeals Review of “Exceptional Importance” on Issues of Corporate Transparency, Peace in Congo

October 29, 2015 (Washington DC) – In a statement released today, the Enough Project urged the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to review a “damaging” recent court decision which challenges the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Conflict Minerals Rule mandated by Section 1502 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

The case, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), is of “exceptional importance” on issues of corporate transparency and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and should not stand without review.

Holly Dranginis, Policy Analyst at the Enough Project, said: “In today’s globalizing world, corporate free speech and its connection with global security and human welfare is of increasing importance.”

Statement excerpt: “The American people, the people of Congo, and all communities affected by global markets and supply chains deserve clarity from the US courts on consumers’ right to know, and the limits of corporate secrecy allowed by the US constitution.”

Experts from Enough, an atrocity prevention policy group, are available for comment today. For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact: Greg Hittelman, gh@enoughproject.org

Complete statement by the Enough Project:

Conflict minerals court case is of “exceptional importance” and should be reviewed

October 29, 2015

The Enough Project urges the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to review the case, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) et al. v. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), to ensure that a damaging recent decision on the issues of corporate free speech and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo does not stand without review.

The Enough Project recognizes that en banc rehearings are reserved for rare cases of exceptional importance, or where review is needed to maintain jurisprudential uniformity. This case, which challenges the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule mandated by Section 1502 of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform Act, fits those criteria. With freedom of speech at the core of the challenge, a key constitutional issue is also at stake.

Corporate transparency related to conflict minerals is of exceptional, measurable public interest and importance. Students from over 150 schools around the United States and another 20 abroad have mobilized to change their schools’ procurement policies. They have also joined the wider conflict-free consumer movement, encouraging companies to clean up their supply chains, source conflict-free minerals from Congo, and invest in development in Africa’s Great Lakes region.

Most recently, more than 500 students signed on to a letter to U.S. Special Envoy to the Great Lakes region Tom Perriello, asking him to prioritize tackling key challenges on conflict minerals. Nineteen schools have passed resolutions declaring their commitment to purchase electronics from companies pursuing a conflict-free supply chain and supporting peace in Congo. Five US cities and two states have passed similar resolutions, indicating an even wider demographic of support for corporate disclosures and the conflict-free movement. 

On the specific topic of this case – the SEC’s Conflict Minerals Rule - many major American and international news media outlets have published features, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, the Washington Post, National Geographic, and many others. Leadingconstitutional scholars and Congolese activists and have also written in prominent publications on the issue, including an open letter in support of Dodd Frank 1502, signed by 31 experts, former ambassadors, and Congolese civil society leaders.

Review is also needed to maintain uniformity in the court’s decisions. By failing to apply Zauderer’s rational review standard of scrutiny in NAM, the court ruled in contradiction to its opinion in American Meat Institute, which said Zauderer applies in cases related to country-of-origin product labeling. Its decision also contradicts Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project by failing to defer adequately to Congress on a rule directly related to foreign affairs.

Corporate free speech and its connection with global security and human welfare is of increasing importance in today’s globalizing world. The American people, the people of Congo, and all communities affected by global markets and supply chains deserve clarity from the US courts on consumers’ right to know, and the limits of corporate secrecy allowed by the US constitution.

- - -

Link to statement: http://eno.ug/1WiBF2N

Resource page for journalists covering conflict minerals issues - “Progress and Challenges on Conflict Minerals: Facts on Dodd-Frank 1502”:  http://eno.ug/1iCJiVj

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

“Tusk Wars”: New information on the blood ivory trade of Kony's Lord's Resistance Army

Date: 
Oct 26, 2015

 

Fresh field research shows Joseph Kony’s LRA is down to 120 fighters, but its abductions are rising; Kony remains in Sudan-controlled territory; LRA is poaching elephants, trading ivory for ammunition in Sudan; Obama extends U.S. mission

October 26, 2015 (Washington, DC) – Joseph Kony’s Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) is part of an onslaught of poaching in central Africa, and continues to pose a threat to local populations, across a swathe of central and east Africa, according to a new field-researched report by the Enough Project. In the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Garamba National Park, the report details LRA hunting groups and Sudanese and South Sudanese poachers are now in “an open war” against park rangers. On Friday, President Obama reauthorized the U.S. support mission to the African Union Regional Task Force to counter the LRA for an additional year.

The Enough report, “Tusk Wars: Inside the LRA and the Bloody Business of Ivory” by researcher Ledio Cakaj, uncovers new evidence of ivory trafficking into Sudan, including testimony by ex-LRA members of transactions with Sudanese merchants, as well as alleged trade with Sudan Armed Forces officers.

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: “The LRA is down but not out. Its illicit ivory trafficking is helping Kony re-arm, and the LRA could now reorganize with a new generation of fighters. The U.S. advisors should step up efforts to cut off the ivory lifeline and boost defections.”

The LRA, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, is notorious for the abduction of more than 66,000 youth for use as child soldiers, servants, and sex slaves over the past 28 years. 

From Kafia Kingi, an enclave controlled by Sudan, Kony commands LRA troops operating in Central African Republic (CAR), the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and South Sudan. 

John Prendergast, founding director of the Enough Project, said: “The Obama administration deserves tremendous credit for staying the course to find Kony and eliminate the LRA's capacity to kill and abduct civilians. The mission has reduced LRA killings by 90 percent over four years, but there are 200,000 people still displaced. To help end the LRA, Sudan should allow the African Union troops access to Sudan-controlled territory where Kony has been hiding since 2011.”

Selected report excerpts:

  • The LRA has committed 50 attacks and 500 civilian abductions in the first eight months of 2015, according to the LRA Crisis Tracker.
  • Despite the successes of the African Union/U.S. counter-LRA mission, Kony has continued to traffic ivory, secured by fighters in DRC’s Garamba National Park. One LRA unit is based in Congo to poach elephants, and two other groups transport the ivory to Sudan-controlled Kafia Kingi. Two of Kony's sons are involved in the trafficking, Salim and Ali.  
  • New field research by the Enough Project provides new details about the traffic of ivory from DRC into Kafia Kingi, and the transaction between the LRA and Sudanese merchants.
  • The independent research organization C4ADS conducted headstamp analysis on spent ammunition rounds found by park rangers in Garamba National Park following LRA and Janjaweed attacks. They concluded that the ammunition was manufactured in Serbia (LRA), as well as Iran, Sudan, and Italy.
  • Recent defectors from Kony’s group have emerged with large amounts of fresh ammunition that was obtained by trafficking ivory.
  • LRA defectors report that Kony is hoarding some of the larger ivory tusks in anticipation of a “rainy day” for the LRA. The conflict-ivory trade perpetuates the poaching of more elephants, the illicit trafficking of ivory, and violence against civilians.
  • Based on new interviews with recent LRA defectors, LRA founder and leader Joseph Kony was based in the Sudan-controlled enclave of Kafia Kingi as of May 2015, an area he has rarely moved from since 2011.
  • In contrast to the Government of Sudan’s denials of LRA presence in its territory, LRA defectors have made consistent claims that Sudanese military personnel has knowledge of the presence of LRA groups in Kafia Kingi.
  • Kony has gradually lost some control over his troops, who are increasingly likely to leave the ranks or disobey his orders. Nine of Kony’s personal bodyguards made an attempt on his life in mid-2015 – the first time that has ever occurred.

The report includes key recommendations, including:

  • Boosting counter-LRA operations: The U.S. Congress should continue to robustly support counter-LRA operations and support that Kony’s removal should be the mission’s goal.
  • Supporting the Global Anti-Poaching Act: Members of Congress should co-sponsor the Global Anti-Poaching Act, H.R. 2494, introduced by Ed Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY). If passed, the bill would help create consequences for atrocity perpetrators sustaining themselves through wildlife trafficking by making wildlife trafficking a predicate offense for money laundering, and support the professionalization of partner countries’ park rangers.
  • Addressing Sudan’s complicity: The United States should take a more prominent role in countering Sudan’s complicity in aiding the LRA. The U.S. counter-LRA mission should continue to deploy advisors close to the areas controlled by Sudan in Kafia Kingi so it can gather precise intelligence on Kony’s whereabouts.
  • Supporting defections: U.S. advisors and their African Union partner forces should establish a Safe Reporting Site at the newly established U.S. base in Sam Ouandja, CAR, and heavily advertise this defection opportunity to LRA groups in the area.
  • Banning ivory: As the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) finalizes the rule on U.S. restrictions on ivory sales and imports, it should maintain narrow exemption language in order to eliminate loopholes that would allow ivory traffickers to continue to bring ivory into the United States in smaller trinkets. In particular, FWS should keep the proposed trading ban intact on items "wholly and primarily" made of ivory.
  • Ending impunity: Foreign courts, particularly in the European Union and the United States, with jurisdiction over individuals and companies suspected of high-level involvement in illegal ivory trafficking, should investigate the most serious cases of trafficking, natural resource pillage, money laundering, and other related crimes. Such individuals and companies should also face targeted sanctions where evidence shows violation of E.U., U.S., or U.N. sanctions regimes aimed at supporting peace in central Africa.

Read the full report, “Tusk Wars”: http://eno.ug/1W8OtZy

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606, gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

BREAKING: Obama extends U.S. mission to find Joseph Kony, end LRA atrocities

Date: 
Oct 23, 2015

 

Washington, DC -- President Obama has re-authorized U.S. support for the African Union-led counter-LRA mission, Operation Observant Compass, for one additional year starting now. 

Over the past 28 years, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has abducted over 66,000 youth as child soldiers and sex slaves, and 200,000 people in central Africa remain displaced because of LRA attacks today. 

Sasha Lezhnev, Associate Director of Policy at the Enough Project, said: "The counter-LRA mission is working, and President Obama has committed to finish the job. The African Union-U.S. mission to end Joseph Kony's LRA has already led to a 90% reduction in killings over the past four years. However, Kony himself remains at large, hiding in Sudan-held territory, and the LRA is getting new ammunition from poaching elephants and selling ivory. President Obama showed resolve in re-authorizing the mission today, and it's now up to the U.S. military advisors and the African Union forces to interdict the LRA's illegal ivory trade and find Kony." 

On Monday, the Enough Project will publish a new report, with fresh field research on the state of the LRA and its elephant poaching and ivory trafficking operations.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

 

“Double Down” on U.S. Counter-LRA Mission

Date: 
Sep 30, 2015

 

Expert testimony to U.S. Foreign Affairs Committee today details the LRA's elephant poaching, gold and diamonds trade, and safe haven in Sudan-controlled territory; Urges support for U.S. efforts to end armed group’s atrocities

September 30, 2015 (Washington DC) – The Enough Project’s Sasha Lezhnev testified to Congress today on the current state of Joseph Kony's Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), and urged continuing U.S. support for efforts to end the group’s nearly three decades-long reign of atrocities.

Lezhnev, the Enough Project’s Associate Director of Policy, joined Francisca Thelin, President of Friends of Minzoto, and Paul Ronan, Project Director of The Resolve LRA Crisis Initiative, as they offered testimony before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing “Ridding Central Africa of Joseph Kony: Continuing U.S. Support.”

Lezhnev’s testimony included key findings from up-to-the-minute research by the Enough Project into the structure, status, and wide-ranging scope of the LRA, including:

  • “Despite 25 years of counter-insurgency efforts mainly by Uganda, Kony’s LRA lives on, as its fighters abduct children as young as eight and move through dense jungles for thousands of miles on foot with virtually no technology in some of the most remote terrain on the planet. Today, I am deeply concerned about the LRA’s new economic activities and its ability to regenerate itself going forward.”
     
  • “Today, the LRA is increasingly poaching elephants for valuable tusks, trading the ivory for ammunition, supplies, and food in Sudan, with the likely complicity of the Sudanese government.”
     
  • “The LRA is not yet down and out, and with a new trade in ivory, gold, and diamonds, it could make a serious comeback, as it has done in the past.”
     
  • “Strong bipartisan support in Congress for ending the LRA’s brutality has made a major dent in improving human security and preventing atrocities. Following the passage of the LRA Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act in 2010, which still today ranks as the most popular standalone bill on Africa ever to pass Congress, the Obama administration deployed approximately 100 Special Forces advisors to the African Union Regional Task Force in October 2011. This has helped lead to a 90 percent decrease in LRA killings and a 30 percent decrease in attacks, and has significantly weakened a group that has abducted more than 66,000 children and youths and is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths over the past 28 years. The number of displaced people as a result of LRA attacks is down from 1.8 million to 200,000 today.”
     
  • “The U.S. government deserves tremendous credit for sapping Kony’s LRA of most of its strength and helping allow 1.6 million people to return to their homes. However, the LRA has a history of regrouping, and I am deeply concerned that its trade in ivory and other commodities could allow it to do so again. Now is not the time to pull back, but instead to finish the job and bring Kony to justice.”

The LRA, a U.S.-designated terrorist group, notorious for the abduction of more than 66,000 youth for use as child soldiers, servants, and sex slaves over the past 28 years, has seen decline but remains a danger to people and communities in its path. The LRA has also been identified as a threat to the survival of Congo's remaining elephants, and Lezhnev will testify that ivory from poaching along with the pillaging of gold and diamonds is a main source of the LRA’s income.

As chronicled in the new book "Mama Koko and the Hundred Gunmen," in 2008, Thelin, a Congolese expat living in Portland, Oregon, started getting static-marred cellphone calls from her family’s coffee plantation near Garamba National Park. Overnight, the place she happily spent her childhood pulling peanuts and climbing orange trees became grounds for LRA massacres. To this day, Francisca’s family hasn’t returned to their farm. They know it’s still far too dangerous. Read Francisca’s piece "Out of Kony's Shadow" in the New York Times (March 16, 2015)

WHAT: U.S. House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations hearing “Ridding Central Africa of Joseph Kony: Continuing U.S. Support”
WHEN:  2pm - 5pm, Wednesday, September 30, 2015
WHERE: Room 2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Wash., DC 20515

Testimony by Sasha Lezhnev: http://eno.ug/1JAgZvU

Testimony by Francisca Thelin (pdf): http://eno.ug/1WvL8pl

AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEW: 

  • Sasha Lezhnev, the Enough Project's Associate Director of Policy and lead LRA expert, is available for selected interviews.
  • Francisca Thelin will also be available for interviews this evening and on Thursday morning.

For media inquiries or interview requests, please contact:
Greg Hittelman, Director of Communications, +1 310 717 0606gh@enoughproject.org

About THE ENOUGH PROJECT
The Enough Project, an atrocity prevention policy group, seeks to build leverage for peace and justice in Africa by helping to create real consequences for the perpetrators and facilitators of genocide and other mass atrocities. Enough aims to counter rights-abusing armed groups and violent kleptocratic regimes that are fueled by grand corruption, transnational crime and terror, and the pillaging and trafficking of minerals, ivory, diamonds, and other natural resources. Enough conducts field research in conflict zones, develops and advocates for policy recommendations, supports social movements in affected countries, and mobilizes public campaigns. Learn more – and join us – at www.EnoughProject.org

 

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